Computer Science

Introduction to Computers


    • Electronic device
    • Converts data into information
    • Modern computers are digital
      • Two digits combine to make data
    • Older computers were analog
      • A range of values made data

Computers For Individual Use

1. Desktop computers
          • The most common type of computer
          • Sits on the desk or floor
          • Performs a variety of tasks
2. Workstations
          • Specialized computers
          • Optimized for science or graphics
          • More powerful than a desktop
3. Notebook computers
          • Small portable computers
          • Weigh between 3 and 8 pounds
          • About 8 ½ by 11 inches
          • Typically as powerful as a desktop
          • Can include a docking station
4. Tablet computers

Tablet computers

          • The newest development in portable computers
          • Input is through a pen
          • Run specialized versions of office products
5. Handheld computers
          • Tiny computers Personal
          • Digital Assistants (PDA)
          • Note-taking or contact management
          • Data can synchronize with a desktop
6. Smartphones
          • Hybrid of cell phone and PDA
          • Web surfing, e-mail access

Computers For Organizations

Network servers

        • Centralized computer
        • All other computers connect
        • Provides access to network resources
        • Multiple servers are called server farms
        • Often simply a powerful desktop



        • Used in large organizations
        • Handle thousands of users
        • Users access through a terminal


        • Called midrange computers
        • Power between mainframe and desktop
        • Handle hundreds of users
        • Used in smaller organizations
        • Users access through a terminal



        • The most powerful computers made
        • Handle large and complex calculations
        • Process trillions of operations per second
        • Found in research organizations

Computers In Society

    1. More impact than any other invention
        • Changed work and leisure activities
        • Used by all demographic groups
    2. Computers are important because:
        • Provide information to users
        • Information is critical to our society
        • Managing information is difficult
    3. Computers at home
        • Many homes have multiple computers
        • Most American homes have Internet
        • Computers are used for
            • Business
            • Entertainment
            • Communication
            • Education
    4. Computers in education
        • Computer literacy is required at all levels
    5. Computers in small business
        • Makes businesses more profitable
        • Allows owners to manage
    6. Computers in Industry
        • Computers are used to design products
        • Assembly lines are automated
    7. Computers in government
        • Necessary to track data for the population
            • Police officers
            • Tax calculation and collection
        • Governments were the first computer users
    8. Computers in health care
        • Revolutionized health care
        • New treatments possible
        • Scheduling of patients has improved
        • Delivery of medicine is safer

Parts of the Computer System

The computer has 4 parts

Parts of the Computer System

      1. Hardware
      2. Software
      3. Data
      4. User

1. Hardware

      • Mechanical devices in the computer
      • Anything that can be touched

2. Software

      • Tell the computer what to do Also called a program.
      • Thousands of programs exist

3. Data

      • Pieces of information
      • Computer organize and present data

4. Users

      • People operating the computer
      • Most important part
      • Tell the computer what to do

Information Processing Cycle

Steps followed to process data

Information Processing

      • Input
      • Processing
      • Output
      • Storage

Essential Computer Hardware

Essential Computer Hardware

      1. Computers use the same basic hardware
      2. Hardware categorized into four types
      3. Processing devices
        • The brains of the computer
        • Carry out instructions from the program
        • Manipulate the data
        • Most computers have several processors
        • Central Processing Unit (CPU)
        • Secondary processors
        • Processors made of silicon and copper
      4. Memory devices
        • Stores data or programs
        • Random Access Memory (RAM)
          • Volatile
          • Store’s current data and programs
          • More RAM results in a faster system
        • Read Only Memory (ROM)
          • Permanent storage of programs
          • Holds the computer boot directions
      5. Input and output devices
        • Allows the user to interact Input devices accept data
          • Keyboard
          • Mouse
        • Output devices deliver data
          • Monitor
          • Printer
          • Speaker
        • Some devices are input and output
          • Touch screens
      6. Storage devices
        • Hold data and programs permanently
        • Different from RAM
        • Magnetic storage
          • Floppy and hard drive
          • Uses a magnet to access data
        • Optical storage
          • CD and DVD drives
          • Use a laser to access data

Software Runs The Machine

      1. Application software
        • Accomplishes a specific task
        • The most common type of software
          • MS Word
        • Covers the most common uses of computers

Computer data

        • The fact with no meaning on its own
        • Stored using the binary number system
        • Data can be organized into files

Computer users

      1. Role depends on the ability
          • Setup the system
          • Install software
          • Manage files
          • Maintain the system
      1. “Userless” computers
          • Run with no user input
          • Automated systems

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